Life is Hard!

I am a strong believer that God uses everything that happens in life to teach us something about Himself if we will just listen to His Spirit and allow Him to instruct us. Then I search God’s Word to see what God has specifically said regarding what the Spirit has impressed upon my mind.

I am a pen turner and I love to work at my lathe. I have learned many things about life as I work at my lathe. Each step of the process in turning a piece of wood or antler into a pen is painful to the material with which I am working. The process includes cutting, drilling, shaping, sanding, polishing, friction, and pressure. But when the process is complete the material has been transformed; it has new beauty, value, and purpose. Something of little value now has greater value, all because it endured a painful process! Life is full of difficulties and it easy to become overwhelmed. But there is a purpose behind each hardship; they are all part of a process to shape and mold us into some of greater value and purpose. My desire in writing this blog is to encourage and maybe stir up some conversation with the lessons that God has been teaching me through the painful process of life. Life is hard, but God is good. May He continue working His process in my life.

If you are going to read any of my posts be sure to ready "Introduction to Lessons from the Lathe". In that post I lay out the basis for all the other blogs.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New thoughts from an Old Testament story

Belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I have been lax in my writing for sometime now and have determined that I will do a better job of posting blogs on a regular basis. I have had many friends and family encourage me to begin to post again, so I will try.

I have begun my yearly Bible read through; I decided to use the New King James Version this year. I have read through the Bible in the King James Version, the English Standard Version, the New Living Translation, and the Message. I love how things are brought out in different ways in each translation.

This past year I went through a very difficult and dry period of time. It seemed that my Bible reading was just ritualistic; something to do just so that I could say I had done it. I knew it was the right thing to do and I desperately wanted to; but it felt like I was just going through the motions. I became very discouraged and depressed. God had seemed to stop speaking to me. It was a period of over 6 months but I am happy to report that God has brought me through. I once again hear His voice and discover His truth as I read His word.

I was reading in Genesis 24 this morning, the familiar story where Abraham sends his servant to find a wife for Isaac. I have read this story many times, so I was surprised to find something new. In verses 10 and following, as the servant arrives at the well, he asks God for a specific sign. Before he even completes his prayer, Rebekah, arrives and fulfills all things he fir which he had been asking in his prayer. I have seen that so many times and have thanked God that He is a God who answers prayer and guides and directs our lives. But what interested me was the response of the servant in verse 21; "And the man, wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not."

I don't know about you but if God had just answered my prayer for a sign, even before I had finished praying for it, I probably would have been ecstatic. Look at what a great God I serve; look at how He answers prayer! But this servant waited quietly so that he could know for sure that God had answered.

I don't believe that the man was demonstrating doubt in God. I believe that the man was a man of faith, the chapter is full of times where he prayed and worshipped. I believe that the man was demonstrating what more of us need to display, discernment. He wanted to be sure that it was God who had answered so quickly.

Satan loves to mimic God so as to confuse believers. Doesn't the Bible tell us in 2 Corinthians 11:14 that "Satan transforms himself into an angel of light"? God, through this narrative, teaches us the need to "test the spirits" (1 John 4:1.) I pray that I will show the same mature faith as this unnamed Old Testament servant of Abraham.

God is good.


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